Late last year Deer Tick released two new albums on Partisan Records, titled Vol 1 and Vol 2. The two records were put together to show off the two distinct sides of the band; Vol 1 takes in their more reflective and rootsy stripped back elements, and Vol 2 their more volatile, garage-rock flair.
Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rhode Island’s very own Deer Tick a few years back, their effortless style and pure rock nature grabbed me. We here at The Moshville Times arrive to witness their set in London tonight at Islington Assembly Hall.
An evening with Deer Tick. At 8:15pm the four guys stroll on stage to start the festivities off. No support tonight as it’s a celebration of Vol 1 and Vol 2 two records created by the band showing their dynamics of music.
James McCauley and crew begin with “Sea of Clouds” the opener to the “acoustic album”. The next forty minutes ignites melancholic passion with “Card House”, a tune I wanted to sing along with. These multi-intelligent instrumentalists use a mandolin, a flute and ukulele. Continuing with “Hope is Big” with added harmonica. “Me and My Man” caressed in the melodic vibe of drummer Dennis Ryan.
Part one of the gig is over. “But don’t leave,” they tell us, as they’ll be back shortly. “Just gotta clear some stuff and then we will go full-on rock n’ roll.”
9:15pm Deer Tick are back. The acoustic guitars stored away, out come the electric mighty sounds to make us look on in awe. Multi-talented musicians such as James McCauley with his raspy vocal, his guitar play is astonishing, along with cohort of the axe, Ian O’Neill. “Don’t Hurt” opens, followed by a track Dennis Ryan tells us is about a “Fucked up clownfish”
But “Twenty Miles” has the crowd mouthing the words “If your running away then I’m looking for you. And if you’ve lost your way I’m seeing you through”. Loving the swagger and attitude of “Tiny Fortunes”. Another getting me is “The Bump”, a favourite of mine – “We’re full grown men. But we act like kids”.
The night comes to an end with favourites “How Clean I Am” and “These Old Shoes” finishing off an enjoyable evening. Deer Tick fans dancing along to the beat, the flow and the power of the vocals easily captures them all.
The opening acoustic set is very chilled, the crowd relaxed allowing the mood to float over them. Second set is another story, Deer Tick explode with riffs, wonderful lyrics and a togetherness as if they’re made of adhesive.